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The crowdfunding behemoth Star Citizen has introduced a new microtransaction to fund the game's ongoing development in the form of purchasable digital land plots in the yet-unreleased game.
Much like the digital goodies (ranging from $5 skins to $3,000 ships) already being sold to raise money for the game, Star Citizen's land claims give the game's nearly 2 million backers a way to contribute funds to its development and eventually receive in-game goodies for their contribution when it sees a full release.
Land claims vary between $50 and $100 based on size and, according to developer RSI, aim to help the team "include deeper features in the Star Citizen game". Players that do decide to pick up a parcel of land, however, won't be able to dive in and start building a homestead immediately as, outside of a limited early alpha, the bulk of Star Citizen is still under development and out of reach.
Star Citizen notably relies on mostly crowdfunding efforts to fuel its development and has raised a grand total of $168 million since first launching its Kickstarter campaign in 2012 with a humble goal of $500,000.
As of early November, Star Citizen had raised just over $23 million in 2017 alone but, according to analyst and ICO Partners CEO Thomas Bidaux, 2017 stands to be the first year Star Citizen sees a year-on-year decrease in earnings. In addition to RSI's intent to use land claims as a way of populating the some of the game's more barren planets, the new system could additionally help the developer encourage a year-end influx of crowdfunding cash and keep its upward momentum moving.
It looks like 2017 is going to be their worst year, and first drop, since 2012 though. pic.twitter.com/BTYcRDpcUm— Thomas Bidaux 🎲🐺🏴 (@icotom) November 13, 2017